Formal Japanese Surrender
The Formal Japanese Surrender took place onboard USS Missouri (BB-63), which was chosen for being named for the President's home state and utilized as Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey's flagship for the last weeks of the war. On September 2, 1945, the battleship flew the American flag that had been flown over the Nation's Capitol on December 7, 1941. On a bulkhead near the ceremony, Commodore Matthew Perry's 1853 flag was displayed from the Treaty of Japan. The ceremony lasted half an hour. A naval chaplain gave an invocation, a recorded performance of the National Anthem followed. Japanese delegates signed the Instrument of Surrender first, then the General Douglas A. MacArthur, USA, signed as Supreme Commander, followed by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, for the United States, and eight other officers representing the Allied Powers. The sun burst forth and hundreds of American carrier and land-based planes flew over Missouri.
Image: USA C-2719 (Color): Surrender of Japan, Tokyo Bay, September 2, 1945. Japanese representatives on board USS Missouri (BB-63) during the surrender ceremonies. Official U.S. Army photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.